Percussion Massagers… are they worth it?

Jan 29, 2022 | Guides

Percussion Massage or Sports Massage?

Percussion massage devices have grown in popularity over the last few years, but how do they compare to professional sports massage therapy..?

At Circle8 Massage Leeds, we have looked into the pros and cons of each to help give our clients the ability to make an informed choice if they’re thinking of investing in one to use at home.


Handheld Percussion Massage Guns

Percussion massage devices such as the Theragun and Hyper-volt are handheld percussive devices that many now use for muscle therapy. Using a soft blunt tip or other attachment, they can be used by either the individual or someone else on muscles to provide the effect and benefits of a deep massage.

They do this by delivering concentrated force to the chosen area, many manufacturers claim the therapy these devices deliver is a much deeper form of therapy than conventional hand or foam rollers.

They are available to anyone and can help to improve muscle stiffness and range of motion, as well as post-workout soreness.

Percussion massage guns have grown in popularity in recent times due to the COVID-19 pandemic as many people sought home-based alternatives to professional sports massage therapy.

However, they do come with a range of drawbacks for those using them at home:

  • Direct feedback can mean that not enough pressure is applied to some areas or far too much in some cases
  • Continuous application to a single area can result in bruising and soreness, this can be a real risk for areas with impaired sensation
  • Tensing muscles to resist the effects or pain of a percussive massage can be a sign that real harm is being caused if you are self-treating and inexperienced
  • Massage guns are designed to be used on muscles, without anatomical knowledge however, it is easy to touch nerves, tendons, joints or bone
  • Knowledge is needed about the areas of the body that should never be treated with percussion massage, such as the neck area and carotid artery
  • They can be dangerous to anyone taking blood thinners such as Warfarin or Heparin

Massage guns do have their place though, and at Circle8 Massage Leeds we recommend them in certain cases, along with a range of other massage tools, but caution is needed if using them at home and consultation is a very important part of what we do prior to suggesting treatment of this kind.


Can a massage gun ever replace a Sports Therapist?

The vital first stage of Sports massage treatment involves consultation and learning as much as we can about the client. Anyone experiencing discomfort following exercise or due to sedentary working and injury practices should never use an over the counter solution such as percussive massage without first consulting with a professional.

This is especially the case when muscle soreness is accompanied by swelling or redness.

Sports and deep massage therapy is performed by our licensed professionals with training that includes human anatomy. Consultation and ongoing discussion are an essential part of sports massage treatment, both to see how progress is being made and change things if needed.

These consultations will also allow the masseur to learn about things such as recent fractures, wounds or lesions, areas that should never be touched by a percussion massage gun at home.

At Circle8 Massage, Leeds Hyper-Volt Therapy is one of the therapies our professional team offer along with a wide range of other treatments. If you would like to learn more about sports massage and if percussion massage might be right for you, why not get in touch with our Leeds massage specialists, we’d love to help.

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When you come for a massage at Circle8 we don’t just treat your issue and send you away, we find out exactly which movements and muscles are causing it, explain to you what’s actually happening, give you exercises in the gym and at home that you can do to help alleviate and eventually get rid of your issue.